This is a guest post from David El Sabawy - a student from Mississauga, Canada who has guest posted on my blog before. In today's post, David writes about the internal battle we all face in life: the one against procrastination and laziness. If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
The absolute worst feeling in the world is to be unmotivated to do a task that you know you should be doing.
How terrible is it to feel, that you need to do something, but lack any self-motivation to get yourself to work on it? The regret that can build up in you after-the-fact is devastating because you begin to understand that there was more that you could bring to the table.
Procrastination, sloth and slacking off; all terms synonymous with LAZINESS.
Sometimes you look back and feel so foolish because you were inventing excuses out of the thinnest of air, just to get out of doing it. It happens to all of us in school, it happens to us in work, it happens to us in our relationships.
I believe that those who move adamantly in everything they do, are much happier people overall, and the explanation is incredibly simple. Look at the characteristics that lazy people exude: slow to act, slow to think, always putting things off. These traits are not commended in the eyes of God.
Being in a relationship with God involves deliberate and persistent intent, none of which has any time for laziness.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
I love this verse, but it took me time to understand it well. Reading it carefully, it’s easy to notice that getting into Heaven is not something that can passively be attained, even living a “Christian” life by appearance won’t cut it.
Think about it: From the time of John the Baptist, means ever since the process of the restoration of our return into the Kingdom, the Kingdom suffered great violence. Ever since humanity begins setting back on the right path, the violence pursued, a Holy war on the scale of the spirits of all of humanity.
A fight for our souls began to unfold, revealing behind it the truly ugly nature of what it takes to get to the Kingdom.
Now the last part… “the violent take it by force” is the focal point of this whole verse.
No part of this sounds like it can be passive. It cannot involve any accidents. It is literal, you will fight to get your spot in Heaven, and it will be ugly, but the goal is worth the fight.
The violent take the Kingdom because…
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
This fight did not mean that they literally “fist fought,” but it means they fought the battle for their soul. They fought the evil of this world and overcame.
All the saints you ever hear about have a story of great struggle, but incredible triumph, even at the cost of their lives. This active work in their spiritual life is a characteristic that is never to be lessened. They never exhibited laziness, not even in their deepest struggles.
St. Bishoy, for example, used to tie his hair to the ceiling so that every time he fell asleep while praying, he would wake up and continue to pray. Do we have that same zeal for our spiritual life?
We cannot afford to waste our time doing things that don’t glorify God. Every second of every day was given to us as an opportunity. He died on the cross to see us go to Heaven; can you imagine the disappointment if He knew we squandered our time away?
We must fight the good fight. We must run the race. We must persevere until the end. And then we will “rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…” Matthew 5:12
We must strive to be steadfast in everything we do, because we were blessed with the capabilities, so it is a duty of ours as a child of God to use them to the best of our abilities. We must “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Every detail matters; no factor in life is insignificant. Our mannerisms, our works, our thoughts, the music we listen to and our hobbies… these are all small but proactive ways to glorify God.
And we must trust that the reward is worth it.